If you want to push your CPU to the point where it begs for mercy, you're going to need a good cooler. Like most PC components, there are different options for those with different wants and needs. We've rounded up what we believe are the best in each category by taking into account performance, price, noise levels, and design.
Today we'll be overclocking AMD's Ryzen 3 2200G to the max with a $20 air cooler. Now, you might be questioning the idea given this is a $100 APU that already ships with the more than decent Wraith Stealth. However, we've been keen to see how much more can be extracted from the APU...
Galax's GTX 1070 Katana caught our attention for counting itself among the few single-slot gaming graphics cards available today. In fact, to the best of our knowledge, this is the only single-slot, air-cooled GTX 1070 in the world, as anything with a thermal design power of 75 watts or higher is typically paired with a dual-slot cooler for the added heat dissipation.
There isn't a one solution fits all product when it comes to CPU coolers. Folks with spacious full tower PCs might favor massive tower style coolers, but even if you have the space, some prefer to prioritize volume over temperatures... and if air cooling comes off as unadventurous, an all-in-one liquid cooler may be your best bet.
Older CPUs would simply fail if they started to overheat, but modern CPUs adjust their frequency based on temperature (among other things) to prevent a dramatic failure. Because of this, it stands to reason that once you reach certain temps, you will no longer be getting the maximum performance from your CPU because it will be busy protecting itself. But what is that temperature? And do you really need a high-end liquid-cooled system to get peak performance?
Gigabyte Radeon R9 290X OC & R9 290 OC Review: Immense potential lost to GPU shortages and inflated prices
AMD's Radeon R9 290 and 290X made a strong case against Nvidia's GTX 780 and Titan late last year, but that position soon weakened with unexpectedly high prices and limited options from board partners. This time we'll revisit the cards with actual production units from Gigabyte so we can weigh in on third-party performance at actual market prices.